The trend is particularly pronounced in younger women, with one in six women under the age of 25 telling pollsters that they never wear a bra.
And it seems this is an indirect consequence of the pandemic – with many women getting used to the comfort of not wearing a bra when they were confined to their homes during lockdown and now deciding to ditch the trend for good.
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? 18% des femmes de moins de 25 ans déclarent ne jamais, ou presque jamais porter de soutien-gorge (+14 points depuis février)
? Une proportion qui ne concerne que 7% des Françaises de 18 ans et plus
— Ifop Opinion (@IfopOpinion) July 22, 2020
A similar study done pre-lockdown showed that just four percent of French women under 25 regularly went bra-less.
Across all age groups surveyed in the poll of 3,108 people for Ifop's Gender, Sexualities and Sexual Health study, seven percent of French women say they never wear a bra, compared to three percent before lockdown.
One of the main reasons given for continuing to wear a bra was a fear of street harassment or attack, although among younger respondents many felt that their rejection of the bra was itself a feminist act, with 32 percent agreeing that their choice was motivated in part by “the desire to fight against the sexualisation of the female breast, which requires hiding them from others”.
Françoise Krause from the Ifop institute said that the trend – known as 'no bra' (in English) in France – had been “boosted by the isolation imposed by the lockdown”.
“An exceptional situation has caused women to go from 'what's the point of wearing a bra during lockdown' to 'what's the point of continuing to wear one'.